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Regulators to axe secretive super PAC

FEC fed up with Texas-based group that's violating disclosure laws

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A mysterious super PAC that's routinely ignored federal election laws has a date with the executioner.

In a letter dated Dec. 4, the Federal Election Commission tells Secretive Politics that it faces "administrative termination" for what amounts to its refusal to file mandatory financial disclosures.

Since registering with the FEC in August 2012, Secretive Politics has lived up to its name.

It's been incommunicado with federal regulators. Repeated calls and emails by the Center for Public Integrity to its only known official, treasurer June Walton, have likewise gone unreturned. 

The super PAC also uses a "virtual office" in Sugar Land, Texas, a Houston suburb. There, operators charge clients $350 a month for a mailing address, live receptionist and access to a conference room — but no physical office space. Its listed website and email address don't work.

Super PACs may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for or against political candidates, but federal law requires them to regularly submit paperwork to the FEC accounting for their income, spending and debt.

It's unclear whether Secretive Politics has engaged in political activity. It may have been raising and spending money, flouting federal regulators all the while. Or, just as likely, it existed in name only — like several hundred effectively dormant super PACs that have materialized since 2010, when the Citizens United v. FEC and SpeechNow.org v. FEC federal court decisions gave rise to such political committees.

The FEC notes that Secretive Politics is still obliged to file reports with the FEC if it raises or spends money with the intent of influencing a federal election.

Its termination also "does not relieve the committee of any legal responsibility for the payment of any outstanding debt or obligation," the FEC writes.

The Secretive Politics committee has 30 days from the receipt of the FEC's letter to appeal the agency's decision.